HATTIESBURG – Businesses
and governmental decision makers across South Mississippi now have
a new resource for timely information about economic trends and
issues through a new center in The University of Southern Mississippi's
College of Business.
It is the goal of the newly created Bureau of Business
and Economic Research to be a contact between the College of Business
and the regional business community, said its director Dr. William
Gunther, professor of economics.
"The bureau will be a one-stop source of information
about the South Mississippi economy and population," said Gunther.
"The bureau will provide a structure through which we can focus
on ongoing work regarding regional economic policy, economic growth
and the economic education of our citizens." While other entities
do work in this area, the BBER will pull it all together in one
place, he added.
Initial work has already begun in economic education,
one of the three major focus areas for the bureau.
Collaborating with the Mississippi Council on Economic
Education, the College of Business hosted one of five regional workshops
for Mississippi K-12 public schoolteachers March 2 in Hattiesburg.
The workshops are designed to help prepare teachers as they implement
a new economics curriculum in schools throughout the state this
Susan Doty, of Hattiesburg, lead educator for the
MCEE, will also be involved in future initiatives in this area through
the Center for Economics Education that will operate under the auspices
of the BBER at Southern Miss.
Policy issues and economic forecasting round out the
other areas of the bureau's focus, said Gunther. "With information
generated through the bureau's activities, we hope to provide a
view of the economic implications of public policy options for our
state," he said.
"The work of the bureau will be consistent with
the university's vision of creating and applying knowledge to improve
the quality of life for the citizens of South Mississippi and the
entire state," said Dr. Harold Doty, dean of the College of
Business. "The BBER will be able to highlight some of our ongoing
applied business research and at the same time, further educate
the citizens of Mississippi about pertinent economic issues."
Among the activities faculty researchers aim to conduct
on behalf of the BBER are individual studies on a variety of topics,
a quarterly newsletter with data of interest to decision makers
and an annual economic outlook conference.
For additional information on BBER activities, contact
Gunther at (601) 266-5049.